Catholic Social Teaching in This Unit: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
"A consistent theme of Catholic social teaching is the option or love of preference for the poor. Today, this preference has to be expressed in worldwide dimensions, embracing the immense numbers of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care, and those without hope."
Joseph G. Donders, ed., John Paul II: The Encyclicals in Everyday Language (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1996).
Building a Just World
Young people can get involved with Habitat for Humanity in many ways: work at training events or registration tables, help with painting and other on-site construction projects, raise awareness about local housing issues, help out in the local Habitat office, or organize a fundraising event. See the links below for more information on Habitat for Humanity, poverty housing, homelessness, and other ways to help.
To relate this outreach project to Scripture, have the young people do a search of the word “shelter” in the Bible. (The USCCB Web site has a search function for the New American Bible. There are also many Bibles on CD and online as well as Bible concordances.) Have each young person select a passage that is meaningful to him or her. Have him or her write about it or discuss it. As the outreach project gets underway, use the passages that the young people selected as a way to inspire them and remind them of how this project flows from their faith and in turn strengthens their relationships with God and others. (For example, make bookmarks, posters, or holy cards with the Scripture passages.)
Habitat for Humanity
- information about the organization including its history and its current national and international building efforts, resources on housing needs and homelessness, and stories about new homeowners and Habitat volunteers
- includes information on “Habitat for Humanity University,” a Web-based educational tool that offers learning opportunities and helps develop leadership qualities in the struggle to provide homes for people in need
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- a U.S. government Web site with numerous facts and resources about housing needs and homelessness
Drive for the Basics
The following resources are for food drives; however, they can be adapted for any other kind of drive that may better serve the needs of your community.
Food for ME: A Citizen Action Fact Sheet for Community Food Recovery (University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Bulletin #4305)
- an excellent resource called How to Organize a Community Food Drive with step-by-step preparation and implementation of an action plan.
- information on food recovery
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- information on food recovery
- downloadable guide called Waste Not/Want Not: A Guide for Feeding the Hungry and Reducing Solid Waste Through Food Recovery
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